you ever wondered how good of a fisherman you are? I know I have. I
have photo albums full of pictures of me holding fish. I always thought that I could catch fish with anyone.
I was fortunate to be living in Bartlesville where the
second largest B.A.S.S. Federation club in the state is located.
I joined the Bartlesville Bassmasters and have never looked
back. I used the club
as a measuring stick for my abilities.
After a year in the club, I realized that bass clubs do
more than just fish tournaments.
the first year of my membership I realized that there was so much
out there that I had never even contemplated doing to improve my
fishing. I found that
even when I thought that fish just were not biting, someone always
weighed a few in. After
getting to know a few of the guys, we started to share our success
stories and I started to apply their techniques to my arsenal and
have become a much better fisherman. I recommend that every bass fisherman who wants to be good at
it, should be a member of a club.
Bass clubs offer a great opportunity for fishermen that
donít have their own boat.
You will likely draw several good fishermen throughout the
year and you can learn more in a year than you would in five years
of fishing on your own. As
a non-boater you will get the opportunity to learn new lakes and
techniques that you just canít learn from the bank. Attending the meetings is another great place to learn more
about fishing. The
active members of most clubs knew about the Large Mouth Bass Virus
long before most of the other anglers in our state.
We talked about the lakes that were affected and how to
prevent the spread of the virus through proper boat maintenance.
The same is true of the Zebra Muscle.
Prior to fishing a lake that is known to have Zebra muscles
in them, we discussed ways to insure that they were not
transported back to Oklahoma.
clubs do more in their community than most people know.
Most clubs host at least one Casting Kids event in their
towns and cities. These
events are a great way to get todayís youth hooked on fishing.
The Bartlesville Bassmasters are involved in several Casting Kids
events including not only the ones that we host, but the Oklahoma
Federation events as well. Most
clubs feel that it is their duty to promote our sport with young
people who are eventually take over for us.
Some clubs carry it one step further and they even have
youth tournament trails. This
is a great way to allow us to spend quality time with our kids and
to insure the future survival of our sport.
clubs also have the ability to further the cause of bass fishing
using state money for projects that benefit local fishermen. The
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is in charge of
delegating money from the state to bass clubs for improvements on
local lakes. The
Sport Fish Restoration Fund is used for these improvements.
This fund pays up to seventy-five percent of the expense of
these projects. With
volunteer labor and donations from outside businesses, some
projects can be completed with no out of pocket expense to the
Bartlesville Bassmasters have a restocking program on Hulah Lake
in which the fish are donated to our club from the state.
We put the fingerlings into a pond and raise them to around
twelve inches then we release them into the lake.
This has resulted in a super fishery for all bass
fishermen. One club
used this money to build a new ramp for tournaments on Keystone
Lake to make it more convenient for the tournament fishermen as
well as pleasure boaters. Now
the pleasure boaters do not have to worry about long lines at
their favorite ramp. The
new ramp is set up to handle lots of boats and is perfect for
weigh-ins. These are
just two ways that bass clubs can benefit your local lake.
are just a few ways that local bass clubs can benefit you and your
community. If you
want to be a better angler, you need to get involved in one of
these clubs. There is
probably one located in your hometown.
Just go the Oklahoma BASS Federation web site to find a
club near you. Be
sure to come join in the fun.
a few for seed,